Northland is idyllic and this North Island tour will enable you to explore the region in style, even with only 4 days in New Zealand. From white sandy beaches and sparkling blue sea to the local laid-back lifestyle, it’s got that holiday feeling. As the birthplace of New Zealand, history is alive and around every corner.

3 Night / 4 Day New Zealand North Island Tour

Auckland
Omapere on the Hokianga Harbour
Paihia in the Bay of Islands
Auckland
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Tour Price

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$2190 pp twin
$2790 pp single
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Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland’s West Coast, Northland Kauri Forest, Hokianga Harbour

Relaxing after a swim in Hokianga - NZ North Island Tour

Your New Zealand adventure begins with a real local’s treat, Muriwai Beach on the West Coast, a real Kiwi favourite. Follow your guide for a short stroll along the headland for stunning views of the Tasman Sea and gannet colony on the nearby clifftops.

From Muriwai we head for Northland, the ‘birthplace of the nation’. Skirting the Kaipara Harbour, we continue to the excellent Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn the history and significance of the mighty kauri tree. The perfect launch pad as we continue into the ancient Waipoua Kauri forest to meet our friends from Ngapuhi, the northern most Maori tribe in New Zealand. Ngapuhi are the guardians of the most symbolic places in the New Zealand story, the Hokianga harbour, the spot where Kupe 'the great navigator’ ended his epic voyage to become the first human being to set foot on land in Aotearoa, and the magnificent kauri tree 'Tane Mahuta’ in Maori legend, which represents the creation of the universe, where the sky father ‘Rangi’ and earth mother ‘Papa’ were prised apart to bring light to the world.  We’re welcomed with a special ‘Karakia’ from our hosts before relaxing over dinner in our beachside accommodation for the night amongst new friends.

What you'll love today
  • Tane Mahuta ‘Lord of the Forest’ and it’s Ngapuhi guardians
  • Hokianga Harbour – the last place on the planet discovered by mankind

Day 2: Hokianga Harbour - Bay of Islands

Patting the horses in the Bay of Islands - NZ North Island Tour

Our day starts with a harbour cruise with another of our Ngapuhi friends, Pete (a real hard case!). He’ll tell you why all Kiwis have heard of Opononi and take us on our first foray ‘off the beaten track’, across the harbour for a walk along the deserted beach and for the adventurous, the chance to try sandboarding!

Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes for an easy day from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands, on the ‘other side’. We’re in no rush, so there’s time for plenty of stops along the way, like the famous Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s oldest stone building. We’re now in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we continue onto our home for the next 2 nights, Paihia. From our hotel walk just across the lawn to the Waitangi Treaty House, for our guided tour.   You’re standing on the spot where, In 1840, Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria’s representatives signed the treaty which gave birth to the nation of New Zealand.

What you'll love today
  • Walking on deserted Opononi beach, all by yourselves.  Sand boarding for the adventurous
  • Birthplace of the nation, the Waitangi Treaty House and the beautiful Bay of Islands

Day 3: Bay of Islands

Dolphins and swimmer, Bay of Islands - NZ North Island Tour

Getting out on the pristine waters of the Bay of Islands is an absolute must! Take your pick from swimming with dolphins or a relaxed cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’.  Whichever you choose, you’ll see why we loved coming on holiday here so much as kids and how two nights here is the perfect start to your tour.

Your fun on the water finishes at Russell (Kororareka), the very first capital of New Zealand, a small town with a rollicking 19th century past. It’s come a long way since it was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers, with no police or laws you can imagine what went on! Visit the colonial buildings, walk the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for spectacular views before the short ferry ride back to Paihia.  After soaking up all the unique history of the area and marvelling at the crystal clear water and ‘Pacific’ blue sky, you know you’re in New Zealand now!

What you'll love today
  • Get out on the water, swimming with dolphins or cruising the bays
  • Discover idyllic and historic Russell, New Zealand’s first capital

Day 4: Bay of Islands - Auckland

Glowworms in Kawiti Caves - NZ North Island Tour

Today’s another chance to get off the beaten track, one of the real advantages of travelling in a small group.  Our first port of call are the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, a one-two punch of scenic beauty and Maori history.  The caves are named after the famous Maori chief of the area, Kawiti, and still belong to his family, after great grandson Te Tawai Kawiti showed the first visitors through the caves in the 1950s.  Our guide through the caves will be one of the descendants of Kawiti too.

Glowworms are something most Kiwis grew up with, but are surprised to learn that they’re extremely rare in other countries. In the glowworm world, New Zealand is the centre of the universe! The ancient limestone caves are home to millions of twinkling glowworms including the famous Milky Way cavern, you’ll learn all about them from your friendly guide.

This afternoon we’ll head back to Auckland for the night, right in the heart of it all in the viaduct.

What you'll love today
  • Galaxies of glowworms at Kawiti Caves
  • Kawakawa Hundertwasser toilets (Why? Google them now!)

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